Lest anyone think that our marriage was perfect, let me tell you that both Dan and I were (him) and are (me still) human. We both had/have our faults. Dan had a temper that occasionally got the better of him. We were missing a window in our house (interior) and Dan had a couple of slices on his fist for a while. I am a stubborn mule that sometimes takes a tractor to move. It was his job to clean the van therefore I didn’t touch it, just complained about it. He knew that as a man his eyes were prone to wander and we discussed that temptation on a regular basis. I knew that as a woman my emotions often ruled my actions and we dealt with that on a regular basis, too. We were both aware of the fact that we were innately selfish and saw many manifestations of that in our dealings with our children.
How do I say this? I do think that Dan and I had something special. I don’t know how to say it in a way that won’t sound conceited. Looking around at young married couples in general, we often complained about their lack of committment, to each other, to a job, to a task, to anything. When Dan and I got married there was no way out as far as we were concerned. One of our favorite lines was, “I don’t believe in divorce . . . murder, yes, but not divorce.” That belief was imbedded in us thoroughly by our parents and we didn’t even really know how to think otherwise. I guess you could say we were brainwashed.
I wish I knew how to share that with young couples just starting out. Because I think that belief and knowing that we both had the same belief gave us a confidence in our relationship that so many of our counterparts seem to be missing. However, we were only married 7 1/2 years so I’m hardly qualified for marital counseling.
I can remember days when I just wanted to throw something at Dan, or better yet take a baseball bat to his computer (his computer and I were rivals and arch enemies at times). And there were days that I let him have it. And I know there were days he felt the same way because I remember him letting me have it a time or two as well. =) Not that those fights didn’t do any damage, but there was still the security in knowing that our committment was still there. Sometimes it would take a week or two for things to blow over, for the cold front to pass, but we knew we could take our time working it out.
Sometimes he would look at me (or one of the kids) and say, “I love you, but I don’t like you very much right now.” I can remember gritting my teeth and thinking, “I love this man. I will make dinner for him and not throw it at him. I will be pleasant and smile at him. I will not nag about that filthy van. I will take a few minutes to Listen to him talk about his day.”
=) I never could hide it from him, though. He’d give me this wary look and hesitantly start talking. And his conversation would be directed a bit more to the kids and he would be a bit more cautious about the jokes that he would make. =) I still love that man. I can see that look in his eye. He would try to get me to laugh, play with the kids a bit, and even give me a hug (sometimes dangerous but often necessary for my well being).
I can’t imagine not fighting with Dan. I wanted to have a good fight before we were married just so I would know what I was up against. Knowing how to fight and practicing good fighting habits should be something they teach in premarital counseling. Even when he was laying there on that hospital bed I was fighting with him, hoping that I would get some kind of reaction, hoping he’d give me that glare that told me to bug off and let him get some sleep. Oh that hospital bed has been haunting my memories this week.
I don’t remember if I was trying to say something in particular, if I actually accomplished what I set out to do, or if I have just rambled, but enough is enough. The true key is God. Without Him our marriage would have been just like the world’s. True love is God’s love.
Bother. I sound cocky.